In what was supposed to be an official presidential event, Donald Trump used a speech in Iowa to mock “sleepy” Joe Biden, attack the “fake news” media and even complain about tractors being unable to connect to the internet.
At the renewable energy summit in Council Bluffs on Tuesday, Mr Trump claimed without providing evidence the US had been “held hostage to foreign suppliers of energy” under the Obama administration, under which Mr Biden served as vice-president.
“Sleepy guy,” Mr Trump added of Mr Biden, who is leading the polls to become Mr Trump’s Democratic opponent in the 2020 presidential election.
Moving onto US employment since he became president, Mr Trump speculated the “fake news media” would have refused to believe the figures – more than five million jobs created – if he had touted them before the 2016 election.
After railing against the Nafta trade agreement – “one of the worst deals ever made” – and falsely claiming the US was receiving “tariffs from China”, Mr Trump raised his complaint about tractors in the Midwest.
“They have not treated the Midwest well with broadband, with anything having to do with the word ‘computer’,” he said.
“I look at some of those tractors and they don’t even hook up. They’re all set, but you don’t have the capability here in terms of your infrastructure.”
Mr Trump also revived his claim forest fires in California were the result of mismanagement and could be avoided by “cleaning” the forest floor.
“You have to clean it, you have to clean those floors of the forest, and you’re going to see a big difference,” he said.
The president has previously been criticised for the claim by experts, who say climate change and drought are more important factors than forest mismanagement.